Editor's note: This article has been changed to correct the title of Safe-Guard President David Pryor. He was chief marketing officer when interviewed, but was promoted before the article was published.
The coronavirus pandemic has reduced demand for ride-hailing, but experts expect gig driving to thrive long after the crisis. Therideshareguy.com founder Harry Campbell said in late April that many surveyed drivers switched to driving for Instacart and other delivery services.
For dealership finance and insurance desks and providers of aftermarket F&I products such as vehicle service contracts, extended warranties and GAP coverage, ride-hail drivers are a growing opportunity — but one that's hard to unlock because of its shifting numbers. Another hurdle is that using a vehicle for commercial purposes has nullified F&I products purchased at point of sale.
Beginning around 2018, Ed Morse Auto Group, based in Delray Beach Fla., began getting repeated requests from ride-hail drivers for higher-mileage warranty plans. Those requests also were punctuated by customer complaints about the lack of clarity with regard to commercial-use ride-hail exceptions.
"That creates bad will and nobody wants that," said Randy Hoffman, vice president of the auto group, which operates 21 dealerships in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.